Frequently Asked Questions

faq | Water Hygiene

Water Hygiene

What is Legionnaires’?

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria. You usually get it by breathing in mist from water that contains the bacteria. The mist may come from water outlets that are not used frequently, such as:

  • Showers taps and baths (especially spray taps)
  • Cooling towers
  • Air conditioning units
  • Hot tubs/ Jacuzzis

The disease does not spread from person to person. 

What does ‘not frequently used’ mean?

  • Showers and taps in guest rooms
  • Outside water taps
  • Taps and showers within void properties
  • Taps and showers in staff rooms

Who is at risk?

Everyone is susceptible to infection, but there are those who are at higher risk:

  • Those over 45 years of age
  • Smokers and heavy drinkers
  • The elderly and infirm
  • Those suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease
  • Those with impaired immune systems e.g. transplant patients

How to reduce the risk of legionella in your home:

  • Clean your taps regularly and remove the scale.
  • Legionella bacteria can grow in scale that builds up on a tap.
  • Flush all water outlets that are not used regularly every week. 

What you will need:

  • A water outlet.
  • Sinks and baths – remove plugs so the water can run away
  • Showers – hold the showerhead below waist height
  • Remember to ‘flush’ both hot and cold water taps.
  • A clock so that you can time 3 – 5 minutes
  • Open the outlet so water comes out at a steady flow. The water should not be fast enough to cause the water to splashback and become an aerosol that could be breathed in. The flow should be fast enough for all the water within the section of the pipework to be released.
  • Keep the water turned on for a minimum of 3 minutes. For larger homes 5 minutes.
  • Then simply turn the water off.
  • Heat your hot water to 60c for a minimum of 1 hour every day
  • More information can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/what-you-must-do.htm

 

 

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